Some may say that the Freestate has a ‘raw deal’ – slap bang in the middle of South Africa, supposedly without much to see, a place that is basically overlooked and merely passed through… well, forget that! Here are the top 5 natural sights to see when visiting Qwantani Berg and Bush resort, or travelling through the Freestate…
1.The Freestate National Botanical Gardens
A perfect space for walks and picnics. Over 124 different birds have been spotted here and 54 mammals inhabit the garden, which also displays over 400 plant species of the region.
2. Golden sandstone cliffs of the Eastern Highlands
The Free State’s Eastern Highlands are without a doubt the province’s piece de resistance. Forming the border between Lesotho and the Free State, this northern-most edge of the Drakensberg Mountains towers over the open plains of the Golden Gate Highlands National Park.
One of the biggest and best-preserved wetlands in Southern Africa, Seekoeivlei lies close to the little town of Memel and is a crucial space for well over a quarter of the Free State’s endangered birds.
4. Sterkfontein dam reserve
The Sterkfontein dam calmly glistens in the sunlight – a vital life source for the surrounding 18 000-hectare nature reserve. The grass-covered mountain slopes, kloofs and varying veld types surround this large body of water, adding to the vast beauty of this region.
5. The Maluti Mountains
The Maluti Mountains stretch into the Free State for 100 km, their name meaning Drakensberg in Sotho; their foothills an undeveloped landscape of miles of sandstone outcrops, trees, farmers’ fields and summer cosmos.